In the news

Search Dog Wynn starts operational duties

January 14, 2019

CVSRT are very pleased to announce that CVSRT Chairman, David Warden and his three year old border collie ‘Wynn’, have recently been successful in the Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England (MRSDE) Assessment, which confirms that they have achieved the required standard for operational duties.

You may remember that Wynn joined the team in 2015 as a 10 week old trainee.  She is the third dog that David has trained as a mountain rescue search dog, in a process which has taken two and a half years.

The MRSDE Assessment was held at the weekend and required the pair to demonstrate their capability over three days in winter conditions in the Lake District mountains, searching for ‘missing’ volunteers (dogsbodies), during which they undertook five searches, successfully achieving five passes.

In addition to being capable of operating in mountain and high moorland environments in all weather conditions, they are also trained in searching in lowland areas, including woodland, semi-rural and certain urban environments.

Search dog ‘Wynn’ now joins Search dogs ‘Meg’, ‘Jack’ and ‘Finn’ serving CVSRT across our operational area and mid-Pennines region…and beyond if required.

Search dogs have been a part of CVSRT since 1977 and we now have a team of 4 air-scenting search dogs and handlers with three trainee search dogs (Tinker, Orion and Tess). Over the years there have been 17 qualified search dogs and 11 handlers assisting the search team. The dogs are trained to ‘Air Scent’ so, as a general rule, they do not track the missing person, but react to wind borne human scent.

Why dogs?

A search dog can cover large areas of ground, including difficult terrain and woodland in the search and is very sensitive to any human scent it finds. It will immediately follow a scent to its source. It will then ‘indicate’ to its handler, usually by barking, to let them know it’s made a ‘find’. It is not unusual for a dog to pick up a scent from a missing person, 500metres or more away.

As part of the training process, dogsbodies are used to hone the dog’s senses. Dogsbodies are highly valued volunteers from the community who assist in the development of the search dog. They go out on the hill and hide for the dogs to find on training and assessments courses.

If you would like to know more about the CVSRT Search Dogs or think you could volunteer to be a dogsbody to assist with training, please visit: